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An Ella Clah Novel

By Aimee and David Thurlo

Forge, April 4th, 2005
ISBN: 0-765-31174-7

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

Ella Clah, a former FBI agent has returned to the Navajo reservation, the land of her people. She is now aNavajo Police Special Investigator and single mother to her daughter Emily.

When a young Anglo FBI agent goes missing after interrupting a Navajo religious ceremony, Ella is called into to find him before even more serious trouble breaks out. The agent had interrupted a sing.A Sing is a sacred ceremony andmust never be interrupted, especially by a white man. Ella must find out who conducted the sing and how upset the participants were about the interruption.She hopes to find the young agent before more FBI agents are called in and the reservation becomes a war zone.

During the course ofher search the reader meets Ella's cousin, Justine, an extremely intelligent and brave fellow officer, and Teeny a former officer who is anything but tiny is also called into help.

More is learned about her family, such as her mother whomshelives with. Her mother is a traditionalist, studying the native plants and her brother is a hataalii, or medicine man. They both end up involved in the case.

Readers who enjoy Tony Hillerman would do well to pick up an Ella Clah novel, by Aimee and David Thurlo. As a team they write of the Indian people their heritage and beliefs. I have a fascination with the history, the botanical and the other aspects of the book and a good mystery simply carries the reader along.

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